I believe one of these things that hold people back are around identifying skills that they are perhaps weak in or that they could/should improve on. So I thought about how I can help tackle that problem.
One solution that I want to try with people is to identify the key skills for a QA, what key skills should every QA have, or at least what key skills make up a good QA? If I can identify these then I can start helping people identify if they are lacking in an area. Sure there is a competency matrix that we have, but it has things like "An excellent understanding of XXX", it's often very difficult to quantify what an excellent understanding actually is.
So I sat down and came up with the following key skills:
- Test Documentation
- Manual Testing
- Automated Testing
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
- Operational Testing
- Tool Usage
- Cross Browser Testing
- Automation Pyramid
- Test Data
- Communication Skills
Secondly, I thought it's easy to go through and say I know a bit about SQL, I know a bit about Services/API Testing so I don't really need to learn them. So I thought about the following, sitting down with each QA member and discussing with them how strong they are, and trying to come up with a score out of 10 on how they would rate their knowledge, I would then put this into a radar graph to achieve an overall view of their skills as a QA.
As you can see I have tried to do it for myself, it's difficult coming up with scores, so it's by no means final as ideally I would discuss these with my manager and come to an agreement, but I think it is easy to see the areas that I need to improve on. I have also aligned these to the core competencies matrix that we have adopted, so it ties into helping people develop themselves with an eye for a promotion etc.
The next step is coming up with actions on how we can improve the above, but I will save that for a separate post!